For the past few years, the Showboat property in Atlantic City has been operating as a non-gaming hotel facility. Purchased by developer, Bart Blatstein, in 2016, a deed restriction from 2014 kept the property from offering casino gaming. The former owner, Caesars Entertainment, put the restriction in place, keeping the venue from offering casino gaming for a ten year time frame. Blatstein is now looking to bring back casino gaming to the Showboat by working around the restriction.
A special meeting took place earlier this week with the Casino Control Commission and Blatstein. The Showboat owner has plans to offer casino gaming onsite by using another property. He would like to build a casino on an adjoining lot, so the gaming facility would not technically be at the Showboat, but next door.
The lot he would like to use is 123,000 square feet in size and is located off New Jersey Avenue. The property is currently home to a sand volleyball area. If approved for a casino gaming license, the plan is to create a casino that will cater to the younger demographic offering sports and esports wagering.
According to the Press of Atlantic City…
Blatstein commented that the casino needs to be different, stating:
“Young people are very mobile and very (experience-oriented), so it will be designed accordingly.”
Along with creating a casino, the Showboat would also become home to a family entertainment center, with plans in motion to create a family space at the current bus terminal.
A petition submitted by the owner has been approved by the Casino Commission members. It applies to a state of compliance, a preliminary requirement for an entity to have in order to secure a full license for casino gaming.
A timeline for completion of the plans has yet to be provided, but according to Blatstein, the construction of a gaming venue should take around 14 months to complete.